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Ostomy Memories of Live Oaks

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Fri Sep 18, 2020 4:47 am

A short drive from my house is a nice walk leading to a lake. I park my car and cross a field before heading into the woods along a wide path leading to a point where the trail splits off in two directions.
“When you come to a fork in the road, take it,” said the great philosopher Yogi Berra. The two choices are either clockwise, or counter-clockwise, around the lake. I go left and immediately there is a long, wooden pedestrian trestle that ascends and crosses over a railroad track and continues into a large grove of spreading live oak trees before descending into their midst. This part of the trail is ghostly, spiritual, due to the abundance of wide-spreading live oak limbs dominating the space around the walker. Like oaks have a natural spread of up to 100 feet and can form an arching canopy that dwarfs the area around it. Here, the limbs of multiple ancient trees radiate out in all directions and are covered in miniature ferns. Spanish moss droops all over it, the Southern character redolent of Tennessee Williams and William Faulkner. It is a timeless atmosphere. You folks in Great Britain might be interested to learn that, during the War of 1812, the USS Constitution was nicknamed “Old Ironsides” because the British cannon balls bounced off its hard, live oak hull. In any event, this is a fine walk and, if I’m lucky, I might get to be there when a long freight train roars through, or I’ll have a chance to see a water bird fishing in the shallows around the lily pads, or the protruding eyes of a gator floating in the murky water beside a cypress stand. This beats walking on asphalt and cement with speeding cars whizzing past. It’s different days, different walks. As Yogi said: “You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might not get there.”

Fri Sep 18, 2020 7:06 am

Hello HenryM.

Thank you for sharing the experience of your walk. If you walk as good as you talk, then I think you will always enjoy the experience to its fullest potential. I love to walk in the countryside and one of the quirky things I haved done all my life is to plant acorns along my walking routes. I collect the acorns on or around my birthday and the number represents the years I have lived.  Many of the early acorns are now quite large trees and I revel in the idea that they will be there long after my demise. I have often wondered why I have rarely had the inclination to write poetry about the walks and great open spaces, but I think it's becuase they are emotionally relaxing and  most of my rhymes are motivated by things that I percieve as 'wrong' in life. However, that is not to say that I do not appreciate the poetry of others in  this genre.

In my car I keep a copy of the poem: 'Leisure', by William Henry Davies which is a constant reminder of the importance of keeping things in perspective. For those who are not familiar with Williiam Davies's work, I feel it my duty to enlighten you below: 

LEISURE.

What is this life if, full of care,

we have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs

and stare as long as sheep or cows.

 

No time to see when woods we pass,

where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see in broad daylight,

streams full of stars, like skies at night.

 

No time to turn at beauty's glance,

and watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can

enrich that smile her eyes began.

 

A poor life this if, full of care

we have no time to stand and stare. 

 

 

Best wishes

Bill

 

Fri Sep 18, 2020 7:44 am
Bill wrote:

Hello HenryM.

Thank you for sharing the experience of your walk. If you walk as good as you talk, then I think you will always enjoy the experience to its fullest potential. I love to walk in the countryside and one of the quirky things I haved done all my life is to plant acorns along my walking routes. I collect the acorns on or around my birthday and the number represents the years I have lived.  Many of the early acorns are now quite large trees and I revel in the idea that they will be there long after my demise. I have often wondered why I have rarely had the inclination to write poetry about the walks and great open spaces, but I think it's becuase they are emotionally relaxing and  most of my rhymes are motivated by things that I percieve as 'wrong' in life. However, that is not to say that I do not appreciate the poetry of others in  this genre.

In my car I keep a copy of the poem: 'Leisure', by William Henry Davies which is a constant reminder of the importance of keeping things in perspective. For those who are not familiar with Williiam Davies's work, I feel it my duty to enlighten you below: 

LEISURE.

What is this life if, full of care,

we have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs

and stare as long as sheep or cows.

 

No time to see when woods we pass,

where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see in broad daylight,

streams full of stars, like skies at night.

 

No time to turn at beauty's glance,

and watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can

enrich that smile her eyes began.

 

A poor life this if, full of care

we have no time to stand and stare. 

 

 

Best wishes

Bill

 


Wonderful poem.  I have had walking partners over the years who did not have it in them to notice the lovely and fascinating surroundings through which we were passing.  I felt sorry for them.  As for your poetic motivations, perhaps a little good old Robert Frost or Emily Dickinson would inspire you to write about your nature walks.  The acorn story is fantastic, BTW.    Best, HenryM

Fri Sep 18, 2020 9:54 am

You are very lucky, Henry, to be able to see such beautiful trees as the live oak every day. We have visited the Angel Oak, near Charleston SC; it is a spectacular example of this beautiful species, nearly 500 years old. The resurrection ferns that cover its limbs make it look almost furry. I have bought some of those ferns; they look dead in the package, but when placed in water, they unfurl and look greener. Hence the name, resurrection. Your walk route sounds lovely.

 

Laurie

Fri Sep 18, 2020 9:57 am
Bill wrote:

Hello HenryM.

Thank you for sharing the experience of your walk. If you walk as good as you talk, then I think you will always enjoy the experience to its fullest potential. I love to walk in the countryside and one of the quirky things I haved done all my life is to plant acorns along my walking routes. I collect the acorns on or around my birthday and the number represents the years I have lived.  Many of the early acorns are now quite large trees and I revel in the idea that they will be there long after my demise. I have often wondered why I have rarely had the inclination to write poetry about the walks and great open spaces, but I think it's becuase they are emotionally relaxing and  most of my rhymes are motivated by things that I percieve as 'wrong' in life. However, that is not to say that I do not appreciate the poetry of others in  this genre.

In my car I keep a copy of the poem: 'Leisure', by William Henry Davies which is a constant reminder of the importance of keeping things in perspective. For those who are not familiar with Williiam Davies's work, I feel it my duty to enlighten you below: 

LEISURE.

What is this life if, full of care,

we have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs

and stare as long as sheep or cows.

 

No time to see when woods we pass,

where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see in broad daylight,

streams full of stars, like skies at night.

 

No time to turn at beauty's glance,

and watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can

enrich that smile her eyes began.

 

A poor life this if, full of care

we have no time to stand and stare. 

 

 

Best wishes

Bill

 

Bill, your idea of planting acorns is absolutely brilliant! What a lovely gift, to the earth as well as to future generations. Thank you for this idea!

Laurie

Fri Sep 18, 2020 3:29 pm

 

HenryM wrote:


Wonderful poem.  I have had walking partners over the years who did not have it in them to notice the lovely and fascinating surroundings through which we were passing.  I felt sorry for them.  As for your poetic motivations, perhaps a little good old Robert Frost or Emily Dickinson would inspire you to write about your nature walks.  The acorn story is fantastic, BTW.    Best, HenryM


Hi Henry and Bill,  I too love to walk for more than the exercise it affords me and I've been blessed in my life to have wonderful areas to walk in.   Walking the beach for miles at our island home, staring out at the ocean, the other islands and the mountains in the distance, the tidal smell like no other, the sound of the seagulls screeching, the feel of the sand between my toes, that is my form of meditation.  Or one the forest walks that abound on this coast with the "old growth" groves of giant red cedars some of them over 1000 years old, it's hard not to be in awe of these gorgeous monsters.  They work their magic by putting things into perspective and making you realize just how small and insignificant you are in the scheme of things.

This reminds me of a walk I took with an old boyfriend (he was a new boyfriend at the time) around Stanley Park seawall in Vancouver where I'm from.  It's a beautiful walk that takes in the ocean, the beaches, the city and the mountains in the distance.  I enjoy this walk no matter how many times I take it and that time was no different.  On our way back to my place he said to me "I'm sure we will come to a time where we don't have those awkward silences."  Awkward silences!!  What?  Were we on the same walk??  I was stunned and realized that what I had experienced as a lovely peaceful walk along the seawall he had experienced quite differently.  We didn't last much longer!!

Terry

Fri Sep 18, 2020 9:30 pm
Padfoot wrote:

You are very lucky, Henry, to be able to see such beautiful trees as the live oak every day. We have visited the Angel Oak, near Charleston SC; it is a spectacular example of this beautiful species, nearly 500 years old. The resurrection ferns that cover its limbs make it look almost furry. I have bought some of those ferns; they look dead in the package, but when placed in water, they unfurl and look greener. Hence the name, resurrection. Your walk route sounds lovely.

 

Laurie


Laurie  have been to see the Angel Oak tree it is unbelieviable. Here is a little more infomation about it, the pictures do not do it justice. I tried to post some pictures but could not get them to post. Angel Oak is a Southern live oak (Quercus virginiana) located in Angel Oak Park on Johns Island near Charleston, South Carolina. The tree is estimated to be 400–500 years old.[1] It stands 66.5 ft (20 m) tall, measures 28 ft (8.5 m) in circumference, and produces shade that covers 17,200 square feet (1,600 m2). Its longest branch distance is 187 ft[2] in length

 

 

Sat Sep 19, 2020 4:14 pm

Hi Henry,  Still thinking about this walk you take.  What are the chances one of those gators decides to take a little stroll on your pedestrian walkway?  Florida sounds like a beautiful place in so many ways.  My personal experience consists of a few hours in Key West off of a cruise ship and a few hours at Tampa airport, so pretty much zilch, but what I have heard and read fills me with fear. Giant pythons and gators!  A friend who spends his winters in Florida says gators on the golf course are pretty common!  I have an irrational fear of snakes, even harmless little garter snakes scare the crap out of me, but a fear of giant pythons doesn't seem so irrational! Are you just really brave or do those critters know not to mess with you? 

Concerned!

Terry

Sat Sep 19, 2020 6:21 pm
delgrl525 wrote:

Hi Henry,  Still thinking about this walk you take.  What are the chances one of those gators decides to take a little stroll on your pedestrian walkway?  Florida sounds like a beautiful place in so many ways.  My personal experience consists of a few hours in Key West off of a cruise ship and a few hours at Tampa airport, so pretty much zilch, but what I have heard and read fills me with fear. Giant pythons and gators!  A friend who spends his winters in Florida says gators on the golf course are pretty common!  I have an irrational fear of snakes, even harmless little garter snakes scare the crap out of me, but a fear of giant pythons doesn't seem so irrational! Are you just really brave or do those critters know not to mess with you? 

Concerned!

Terry


Hiya Terry:  Except for '04-18 in Utah, I've lived in Florida:  south, central, and north.  They are three different states.  Gators, like rattlesnakes, pretty much try to avoid humans.  Anyone who runs into trouble with them has gotten too close and ought to have known better.  I regard Republicans as substantially more dangerous and, as for their politician members, more cold-blooded.  The next couple of weeks will prove my point.  HenryM

Sat Sep 19, 2020 7:25 pm
HenryM wrote:


Hiya Terry:  Except for '04-18 in Utah, I've lived in Florida:  south, central, and north.  They are three different states.  Gators, like rattlesnakes, pretty much try to avoid humans.  Anyone who runs into trouble with them has gotten too close and ought to have known better.  I regard Republicans as substantially more dangerous and, as for their politician members, more cold-blooded.  The next couple of weeks will prove my point.  HenryM

Hilarious, Henry! 


Laurie

Sat Sep 19, 2020 11:28 pm
HenryM wrote:


Hiya Terry:  Except for '04-18 in Utah, I've lived in Florida:  south, central, and north.  They are three different states.  Gators, like rattlesnakes, pretty much try to avoid humans.  Anyone who runs into trouble with them has gotten too close and ought to have known better.  I regard Republicans as substantially more dangerous and, as for their politician members, more cold-blooded.  The next couple of weeks will prove my point.  HenryM

I fear you may be right.  There is already evidence that the Russians are launching a disinformation campaign against Biden, as if the Republicans need any help.  One can only guess at what they are cooking up but I'm sure it won't be anything good.

Terry

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